If you only watched outdoors videos, you would just assume that the National Park Service advises people to treat bison as if you were at a petting zoo.
Just to be clear, that’s not what they tell people, despite all of the videos you see of people walking right up to them and endangering themselves. We’ve seen all kinds of bison encounters videos lately, like a group of people unintelligently playing follow the leader with a bison, or a drunk guy getting his anger out (before he went to rehab) on a big ole bison.
The actual guidelines from the NPS are for people to stay 25 yards away from “non-dangerous” wildlife, and that guideline extends to 100 yard with more predatory animals like bears and wolves. It should be a common knowledge thing for people, but it’s just not that simple for some.
In this video, two power lines workers in Uvalde, Texas were on the job at a ranch when they came into contact with a bison. Instead of giving it some space, they decided to test their luck and walk right up to it. One of the gentlemen was lucky and walked up to the “domesticated” bison and patted it on the head. The other guy, whose perspective we see in the video below, wasn’t so lucky…
As he walked up to the bison, the big beast initially looked like it was going to be friendly, but as you might imagine, it didn’t go over so well.
Once the guy got close, the bison naturally kicked into “wild animal mode” and head butted the guy right onto his ass.
Not sure what he was expecting to happen, though he did try to defend himself in the video’s description:
“We build power lines and this was on a ranch where there was a bunch of bison. A coworker and I decided to try and pet one.
He didn’t seem to mind until I walked up and tried to pet him. Well, needless to say he knocked me down and gave me a scare of a lifetime.”